2016-02-14 / Insight

What’s your handle, sweetheart?

810-452-2609 •

LAPEER — Times have changed when it comes to dating, and everything else for that matter.

The whole idea is the same for the most part, though. Generally, two people are meeting, hanging out and getting to know each other for companionship, and ultimately, to determine if they would like to be together for the long haul.

Cupid’s arrow can strike anywhere. People are brought together in strange ways. Sometimes they’re looking for love, and sometimes they’re not. These days, social media plays a role in more relationships than ever, whether people meet through mutual friends on Facebook before they meet in person, or through one of the myriad dating websites that match people up based on compatibility.

Even social media has changed a lot in the past quarter century, as two local couples exemplify.

Back in 1990, Hillary Caffey met a guy, Timothy Saunders, over the social media of the day — CB radio. And just three years ago, another local gal, Trisha Robinson, met a man named Shawn Smith on the popular dating site, Plenty of Fish. The result — a lasting relationship — has been the same in both cases.

Hillary (Caffey) Saunders and Timothy Saunders Hillary (Caffey) Saunders and Timothy Saunders Love over the Citizens Band

Hillary Caffey was looking for her sister, not love, when she picked up her CB radio and called out for littleredrover, her sister’s handle. No one had seen her sister, but TC068, Timothy Saunders, answered the call, saying he was a member of the Radio Rangers, and was willing to make a report to help Caffey locate her sister.

“I decided to meet up with him because I wasn’t having any luck with anything else and I didn’t want to call the police and get my sister in trouble or bother my parents,” said Hillary. “It was so embarrassing… I had just gotten off work from Big Boy — I was a hostess — and I was wearing an awful polyester skirt and one of those white shirts with the Big Boys all over it.”

Shawn Smith and Trisha Robinson Shawn Smith and Trisha Robinson The two met up in the parking lot of a local gas station so Tim could gather information and help find Hillary’s sister.

“Up pulls this big old ’79 T-bird with this really skinny guy with a mullet,” she said. “He’s being super professional and taking information and when he’s done he says, ‘ya wanna go out sometime?’”

Caffey declined, citing her boyfriend at the time as the reason. Saunders asked for her CB handle instead.

After that, TC068 and acquiredtaste spent a lot of time “hanging out” on the CB. Their friendship lasted around a year and a half, and evolved to the point that they were talking daily.

“My mom even asked me one day if my boyfriend was going to get jealous,” she said. “I said, ‘Nah, I don’t even think Tim’s cute.’ Famous last words!”

About a month later, she said, “I started to actually realize I was starting to get the mushies every time I saw Tim and he had started asking me out again here and there.”

She called him up on the CB and he was at her house in less than five minutes. That’s when she told him she couldn’t hang out with him anymore because it wasn’t fair to her boyfriend. She felt like they were getting too close. He said he understood and… “Then I kissed him and it was all over. I broke up with my boyfriend the next day,” Hillary said.

Hillary Caffey became Hillary Saunders on Dec. 1, 1992, and the still-happily-married couple has three children, and still call Lapeer home.

Oh, and her sister? She was out partying.

Two fish, hooked

Trisha Robinson of Lapeer had been divorced for three years when she made the decision to join Plenty of Fish, just looking for new people to hang out with. The website boasts more than 3 million active daily users, claiming “You know at least one person who has found someone on POF.”

After she took POF’s Chemistry Test, Shawn Smith, living in Armada at the time, kept coming up on Robinson’s profile as a compatible match. He indicated he was interested in meeting her, and after about a week, she finally messaged him to say hello.

“He was a cutie and made me laugh a lot, just through online messaging,” Robinson said. “We talked all day, every day that week. We were both on first shift.”

When Friday rolled around, Smith asked Robinson what she was doing that night, and she replied that she was going out dancing with friends. He replied that he might come meet her if he could get his friends to come along.

“I was stoked,” she said. “So we exchanged phone numbers.”

That night, Robinson and her friends weren’t enjoying the club, so they moved on to another bar, where a drag queen show was taking place. Smith showed up, and the couple had a great first date that neither was ready to end.

“The group of us went to Archie’s in Davison for some food, finished up there and went back to my house to play Skip-bo. At 7 a.m., he and his friends left,” she said. “He said he would call me later after he woke up. About 7 p.m. he called and came over to hang out again, and it’s all history from there!”

Smith and Robinson met on Jan. 15, 2013, and became “Facebook official” a couple weeks later.

“Three years, and still going stronger than ever,” she said.

The couple resides in Mayfield Township.

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